Tag archives: Labrador

Dirty Dozen: Best Dog Breeds for Winter

Dirty Dozen: Best Dog Breeds for Winter

Almost all dogs are better suited for the cold than humans – it’s just the way they’ve evolved. However, some breeds are better suited for the cold, rain, snow and ice than others. These breeds historically served a purpose that had to do with cold, nasty weather, climates or conditions.

Three breed groups feature several dogs that tend to fall into the winter-loving category and have some unique features that help them adapt to cold climates – namely double coats (those featuring an insulating under layer and weather-resistant outer layer) that were developed to repel the elements.

It’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering a new dog. These dogs tend to be happy and at home in colder temperatures, and if you live a hot area (like the desert southwest) they might not fare as well as in more northern climes or higher elevations where cooler weather is more prevalent.

Retrievers

Breeds such as the Labrador, Chesapeake and golden retriever were developed to fetch fishermen’s nets and hunters’ waterfowl from rough, icy seas.

As such, retrievers tend to have an outer coat that is slightly oily, which helps repel water while trapping air and body heat while submersed ...

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, or Test for Narcolepsy?

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, or Test for Narcolepsy?

If I could be a dog for a week, I think I would enjoy sleeping the most. I’ve occasionally found myself jealous of my little terrier mix, snoring away as I wipe the sleep from my eyes in an attempt to get my day started. On his back, with all four legs in the air and dreams of rawhides in his head, he frequently reminds me that life doesn’t always have to be such a rat race. While both dogs and humans tend to share their appreciation for a little “R and R”, there are many conditions where sleep is no longer just a common necessity, but a frustrating burden. Whether it’s an inability to sleep or an inability to stay awake, most people with sleep disorders will attest to the overall decrease in life quality due to their sleep disturbance. One such troubling disorder that we share in common with our dogs is narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy is a rare condition marked by excessive daytime sleepiness frequently accompanied by a phenomenon known as cataplexy. Cataplexy is a non-painful recurring condition caused by acute episodes of decreased muscle function leading to a variable clinical presentation from mild muscle weakness to complete collapse ...

Hunters Spend Big Money on Their Sport ... and Dogs

Hunters Spend Big Money on Their Sport ... and Dogs

Hunters spend big bucks on their passion. Seriously, big bucks. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, hunting’s economic impact surpasses Google’s revenue ($38.3 billion dollars in 2011, compared to $37.9 billion) and supports more than 680,000 jobs. Hunting-dog owners are a big piece of that economic impact.

Well-bred field dogs average in the realm of $500 to $1,000, and this upfront cost is the least of your worries when it comes to caring for a dog. The AKC estimates that more than $2,000 is spent on one-time expenditures (crate, bowls, etc.) and that on average their members spend approximately $2,500 per year, per dog.

At first glance, that might seem extraordinarily high, but for hunters and competitors, it’s probably on the low side.

Professional trainers worth their salt average $550 to $650 per month. If you choose to use a pro trainer, you’re looking at a minimum of three months of board and training. Not a whole lot can be conditioned in and built upon in less than that time, unless you’re just going for a preseason tune-up or obedience training. In three to six months of training, you’re already knocking on or ...

Genetic screening in Labradors: Pyruvate Kinase deficiency

Genetic screening in Labradors: Pyruvate Kinase deficiency

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed in the U.S. and in addition to making great pets, are commonly used as working dogs for hunting, seeing-eye dogs, and therapy dogs. Labradors carry a particularly large burden of genetic diseases, including diseases that can affect young pups. One such disease is Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency of the red blood cells (PKD). Symptoms may present as early as 2 to 3 months of age, presenting after the puppy has been purchased and delivered to their new owners.

Affected dogs have a hemolytic anemic that results in fewer red blood cells. The affected dogs tend to be smaller and weaker than their littermates. Other symptoms include exercise intolerance, pale mucous membranes, fast heart rate and heart murmurs. Enlargement of the spleen and liver is usually present by a year of age, and bone marrow and liver failure may occur by 5 years of age. Bone marrow transplant has been successful in treating the symptoms in affected dogs, although the cost prohibits this treatment in most affected dogs.

Genetic testing of the PKLR gene in Labrador Retrievers is available. Because this disease is inherited in a recessive manner, the mating pair may be carriers ...

Genetic Mutations in the AKC’s Most Popular List

Genetic Mutations in the AKC’s Most Popular List

The American Kennel Club has released their list of most popular dogs in the United States. And, once again, the Labrador retriever is the most popular dog, based upon AKC registration statistics, in the country. The 22-year streak atop the registration list ties the poodle for most consecutive number-one rankings.

The German shepherd dog, golden retriever, beagle and bulldog round out the top-five most popular dogs.

This year’s trend leans toward bigger dogs moving up the list after a several-year run of smaller dogs having seen a rise in popularity on the 175-dog list.

Not only is an overall list available, the AKC breaks out the most popular dogs in major cities.

While it’s fun to see where our dogs rank on the list, and to look at various cities and see which dogs are preferred by residents, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the more popular a dog, the more people there will be that offer them for sale. It’s supply-and-demand thing, and if there’s money to be made, someone will fill that demand. Second, with many people offering dogs and puppies for sale, unscrupulous and reckless breeding can lead to ...